Hurricane Sandy’s progress and potential to wreak havoc on the East Coast led the discussion both on the front page of the Roanoke Times today and on Face the Nation yesterday. (For the latest on the storm, check out Kevin Myatt’s Weather Journal blog.)
Face the Nation’s focus, of course, was the possible impact of the storm on the presidential election. Lead guest U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said it would allow President Barack Obama the chance to “play his leadership role” as commander in chief, but since the campaign has been so long, “I’m not sure it will affect votes.”
A more interesting discussion came in the roundtable segment, though, including a mention of southwestern Virginia.
Mark Lebovich of the New York Times Magazine suggested that it could become an issue if the president appears to be giving more attention to swing states than, say, to New York, which led Bob Shrum of the Daily Beast to offer this speculation:
You then get into the politics of this. Southwest Virginia is probably the heart of the Republican’s strength in the state, going to get a massive snowstorm out of this. And so they’re going to have to clear that up. And I think it’s — it’s absolutely right, if it looks like the president’s paying more attention to Northern Virginia than he is to Southwest Virginia, that’ll immediately become an issue.
So what do you think? Will the president pay the political price if it looks like he’s favoring blue-leaning portions of the country or state? Or is that more of a state issue, in terms of getting the snowplows out on the roads? Will Hurricane Sandy affect voting? If so, which candidate does it favor, Democrat Barack Obama or Republican Mitt Romney?
– Mason Adams